Statewatch News online: Statewatch case against the Council goes to the European Parliament

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Statewatch complaints against the Council on access to documents goes before the European Parliament

The Special Report from the European Ombudsman concerning two major complaints brought by Statewatch against the Council of the European Union (the 15 governments) is being considered by the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament on Thursday 20 June when, Tony Bunyan Statewatch, editor will appear before the Committee.

This is only the sixth Special Report that the European Ombudsman has made to the European Parliament and is the strongest power available to him - it usually follows the failure of one of the institutions to respond positively to his Recommendations to change their practices. In this instance the European Ombudsman made two Recommendations to the Council and asked them to implement them on 1 March 2001. In the first the Council failed to provide copies of the documents requested and in the second the Ombudsman recorded "doubts" as to whether the Council would include references to all documents on its public register.

1. Statement to be made by Statewatch to be European Parliament on 20 June 2002
2. Background documentation

This is the eighth successful complaint that Statewatch has lodged against the Council on access to EU documents.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, commented:

"The European Ombudsman has again backed the cause of openness and access to documents in the EU. He has also laid down a marker that the Council public register has to contain details on all the documents considered at all levels of the decision-making and implementation process.

We now look to the European Parliament to back the Ombudsman and ensure that another major step for an open and democratic Europe is ensured"

Background documentation

Full-text of Statewatch's statement to the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament on 20 June 2002: Statement
Full-text of the European Ombudsman's press release: Text (html) Text (Word 97)
Full-text of the European Ombudsman's Special Report to the European Parliament: Report (pdf) Report (Word 97) Report (html)

Statewatch Observatories

1. Secret Europe
2. FOI in the EU


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